The Judges Committee was formed to support and advance the development of judging at all USA Climbing sanctioned competitions. The Committee’s activities specifically include the ongoing development and implementation of the Judge Certification Program, with the intention of increasing the number of trained and certified judges for all Regional, Divisional, and National USA Climbing competitions.
Chair: Michael Sprague
With the 2020-21 season came a significant change in the rules, with the shift to IFSC-aligned rules, and a significant change to the USAC Judge Certification program. In accordance with the new rules, there is no longer a Chief Judge nor an Assistant Chief Judge at events. There is now a Jury President and a USAC Judge whose roles are specifically defined in the rules. The Judges Committee has defined a new certification program with the following notable features:
● Six-level judge certification program, where Level 1 Climbing Judge certification should be achieved before serving as a Climbing Judge.
● Bouldering and Lead/TR endorsement tracks for Level 1, 2, and 3 Climbing Judges, which give one the opportunity to focus on one or both disciplines.
● Online Learning Management System (USA Climbing’s Education Hub) containing courses with interactive quizzes and online exams that must be completed for judge certification at any level.
● The certification program for Speed Judges is under development.
Those interested in judge certification should keep a written record of their judging experiences. For each event, judges should record for each event the event name (e.g., Region 22 Bouldering Regionals), date, location (e.g., gym name, city), Jury President’s name and email, the name and email of any certified judge they worked with, description of the individual’s role at the event, and other notable information. Providing this information with an application for certification will help expedite the process.
Individuals who were certified Climbing Judges or certified Regional/Divisional Chief Judges in the 2019-2020 Season or feel that they have enough previous judging experience may petition the Judges Committee for equivalent certification under the new system. Those individuals should, after completing Level 1 certification, email the Judges Committee (firstname.lastname@example.org) with their request:
● 2019-2020 certified Judges may request Level 3 Climbing Judge certification with Bouldering and/or Lead/TR endorsements (relevant online courses must be taken).
● Others who have completed the Level 1 requirements and have sufficient experience may petition for Level 2 or Level 3 Climbing Judge certification. Their petitions should detail relevant experience that meets the requirements of the level for which they are applying.
● 2019-2020 Regional/Divisional Chief Judges may petition for Level 4 Divisional Jury President certification once they have completed online training for both Bouldering and Lead/TR.
● The Judges Committee will communicate directly with 2019-2020 National Chief Judges regarding their certification in the new system.
Please email the Judges Committee (email@example.com) with questions.
Directions to access the training:
Your certification will be updated within your USA Climbing profile within 48 hours of completion.
National Team Trials, High Point Climbing, Memphis, TN
Jury President: Dustin Skinner
USAC Judges: Jaime Ray, Mike Sprague
North American Cup Series, USAC National Training Center, Salt Lake City, UT
Jury President: Jaime Ray
Paraclimbing National Championships, Momentum Millcreek, Millcreek, UT
Jury President: Mike Sprague
Youth National Championships, Reno Sparks Convention Center/Mesa Rim Reno
Jury President: Mark Vasta
USAC Judges: Tab Stephens, Jim Norton, Karalyn Aropen, Mike Sprague, John Kelley
North American Cup Series, Stone Age Climbing Gym, Albuquerque, NM
Jury President: Tab Stephens
USAC Judges: Josh Calfy, John Kelley
North American Cup Series, Reach Climbing and Fitness, Bridgeport, PA
Elite National Championships
Jury President: Jaime Ray
USAC Judges: Mike Sprague, Karalyn Aropen, John Kelley